We have been studying together principles of Christian parenting. Our series titled train up a child has taken us hopefully in a systematic way through some of the basic principles that are involved. That we must learn to appreciate and most importantly apply in our efforts to train up our children so that they might glorify God so that they might reflect his character in their own.
Last night we concluded our study on corrective discipline and if preventive and corrective disciplinary measures are judiciously practiced we can protect our children from wrong habit patterns. But at times in spite of our efforts and because of inherited tendencies and because of the devils constant effort to make inherited tendencies cultivated tendencies our children get into wrong habit patterns. How does this process take place? What is one of the most prevalent and the most powerful to harm and destroy of the habit patterns and how can we help our children out of such habit patterns? These are questions we need to address ourselves to at this point in our study.
The title of this particular presentation is “Caught in the Cords”, and it is not a pleasant topic it is not one that I look forward to studying with you but it’s one that we must I believe grapple with together that we might be better informed and thereby better able to help our children to protect our children from habit, devastating habit patterns. Lets ask the Lord to be with us in a special way as we proceed , shall we kneel?
Father in heaven, we by nature, are bent towards evil, but we thank You that in and through Jesus Christ we may become a new creation. We thank You for the power of the Spirit that enables us to overcome our natural tendencies and inclinations to self-indulgence. And Father, as born-again Christians we rejoice in the power to overcome, that is so freely given us through Your Spirit as we by faith accept the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ. But Father, we as parents, are responsible for our children for those vulnerable years, from birth to re-birth. When they are only by nature subject to the bent of evil, the passions, the appetites, and the inclinations of their own carnal nature. Father give us special wisdom. Give us sufficient love, to protect them during that vulnerable time, from being “Caught in the cords” of sin. Sinful habit patterns. Enlighten our minds in a special way just now by Your Spirit. Not only for our sake, but most importantly for the sake of those precious souls, whom You have entrusted into our care. Father, I’m counting on You. You’ve asked me to teach, to present these principles. I must have Your power to do so. Thank You for it in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
The title of our study, “Caught in the Cords”, is taken from Prov 5:22. And I would suggest to you that there is probably no other verse in all of scripture that is so awesome and frightening in its implications as this one. Prov 5:22 “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.” “He is caught in the cords of his sin.” What are the “cords of his sin”? I would suggest to you that they are habit patterns. Habit patterns are the cords of sin. Every time we indulge a wrong tendency or inclination it’s like wrapping about ourselves, a tiny little steel wire. And every time we do so, we add a little strand, until finally we can have huge steel cables, that bind us as slaves to sin and self and Satan. We can bring ourselves to the point where we are hopelessly and helplessly “caught in the cords” of our own iniquity.
And the time when we are most prone to be caught in the cords is during that crucial time from birth to re-birth. From the cradle to the cross. The cross of our own personal experience, our death to sin and resurrection to newness of life in Christ Jesus. During this time parents, we are particularly responsible to protect our children from wrong habit patterns.
ED 291 “The greatest wrong done to a child or youth is to allow him to become fastened in the bondage of evil habit.” “The GREATEST wrong done to a child or youth is” what? “to allow him to become fastened in the bondage of evil habit”. “Caught in the Cords of his (own) sin”.
DA 100, 101 “More than any natural endowment, the habits established in early years decide whether a man will be victorious or vanquished in the battle of life. Youth is the sowing time. It determines the character of the harvest, for this life and for the life to come.” Let’s change our analogy from the cord to the sowing of the harvest illustration. “Youth is the” what? “the sowing time”. What text does that remind you of? Gal 6:7 “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And what does it go on to say? In verse 8 “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
But please recognize with me that from birth to re-birth, there is no Spiritual nature. We do not receive a spiritual nature until we are born again. Until we drop to our knees in heart felt repentance and cry out with David “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). Then we have a spiritual nature. And from that point on there is constant conflict between the two. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Gal 5:17.
But the natural tendency of human nature, and that tendency which he has no power within himself to resist, is to sow unto the flesh, and of the flesh, reap corruption. This is why it is so vitally important for us, to protect our children, during that vulnerable time.
Sow and reap, note how it works. We sow a thought, we reap an action. We sow an action, we reap a habit. We sow a habit, we reap a character. We sow a character, we reap a destiny. And the way that habit patterns are formed is very interesting, because the law of reciprocal influence comes into play. Every time we sow a thought, every time we carry out something that has been initiated in our thought processes, the very act of carrying it out, reinforces those thoughts. This is how habit patterns are developed. They become so powerful that they can hold us, like steel cords, to go back to our initial analogy. Youth is the sowing time, and the crop that comes in is habit patterns , which the composite form character. How, and where, and when are wrong habit patterns initiated?
CG 440 “It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt the thoughts and inflame the passions, for he knows that by so doing he can lead to impure actions, and thus all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased, and he can control them to suit his own purposes.” Do you get the picture there? “It is the special work of Satan…to take possession of the minds of youth”, how? By CORRUPTING THE THOUGHTS AND THEREBY INFLAMING THE PASSIONS. And then when those passions are indulged, when an impure action is carried out, he is well on the way to develop habit patterns that will BIND that child under his tyrannical control. Potentially for the rest of his life.
There are two major areas, in which Satan is most successful in developing sinful habit patterns, wrong habit patterns. The areas of APPETITE and PASSION. Appetite needs not to be explained. Passion. What is passion? In its broadest terms, passion refers to any inordinate desire of the naturally selfish human nature. Any strong tendencies to self-gratification or even self-glorification, can be passions. But most frequently and specifically the term passion refers to sexual drives. Not exclusively but most frequently and most specifically the term passion refers to sexual drives.
Now appetite and passion. These capacities to experience sensory pleasure were given us by Whom? By God. And when God gave them to us, they were in no way evil or corrupt. They were perfectly controlled by the higher powers of mans being. And what are those? Conscience, reason and the will. The lower physical drives that God gave man, were perfectly controlled by conscience, reason and the will, and therefore they were not in any way at war against the soul. But through wrong indulgence, through unlawful indulgence, these God-given capacities to enjoy sensory pleasures, have been perverted. And they have become inordinate.
And now scripture calls them “fleshly lusts which” what? “wars against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). “fleshly lusts which wars against the soul”. And the Devil is most effective through these avenues. Why? Because, they have God-given capacities to give us sensory, or sensual, pleasure. And Satan takes what God gave us to be a blessing to increase our happiness, and he makes it a curse to enslave us to self-destructive habits.
All through the ages, this has been his most effective means in destroying in man the likeness of God. And etching upon the human heart, his own diabolic-likeness. DA 122 “In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature (appetites and passions) have been most effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind. Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers that God gave to man as a PRICELESS ENDOWMENT. Thus it becomes IMPOSSIBLE for men to appreciate things of eternal worth.”
Do you see how he gets us “caught in the cords”? Through self-indulgence in these lower appetites and passions, we damage, to such a great extent, our higher powers that we render them INCAPABLE of understanding the truth as it is in Jesus. That truth which alone with can make us free. And once we have come to that position, we are without hope. “Holden in the cords” of our own iniquity.
The way that he appeals to these natural and inherited tendencies to overindulgence, in the area of appetite and passion, is through sensory input, sensory stimulus. And the world is full of such, is it not? Note an example of sensory input that leads to a corruption of the imagination, the thought processes, and then correct actions. I read from 2T410 “Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. Novels are eagerly perused by many, and, as the result, their imagination becomes defiled. …photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated for sale.” Now bear in mind that this was written over a hundred years ago when that was relatively rare. Can you imagine how emphatically she would state that now? If she knew anything about the drive-in movies, the theaters, all the supermarkets that have racks just full of glossy covered photographs available to anyone who has a dollar. If she knew anything about the incredible numbers of novels that are so corrupt that are readily available, what would she say now?
I read on, (2T410) “These disgusting pictures are….hung upon the walls” what about the billboards? “This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination.” And what was the imagination again? [The creative review of images impressed upon the memory bank.] Reading on, “The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions.” Do you see the process here? “These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the BEASTS, sinking them at last in perdition.”
Oh what a graphic description of the process that is all to prevalent. In fact almost universal, amongst the human race. And brothers and sisters, there is no natural power to resist that process, except as we allow God to energize our sin-damaged capacities, through the gift of His Spirit. And then really those aren’t natural powers, those are God-given powers supernaturally energized. But even at that point, is the battle over? Even after we receive that supernatural power? No the battle has JUST BEGUN. The battle has just begun. And as the servant of the Lord says, “from the cross to the crown, we shall have to wrestle with inbred sin.” The fight doesn’t begin until conversion. Because up until that point, there is nothing that naturally opposes the flesh. It is in complete control, without opposition. And if parents aren’t there to oppose it, a child, during that time becomes hopelessly enslaved to wrong habit patterns.
“From the cross to the crown” there is supernatural power, but parents your job and mine, if from the cradle to the cross. From BIRTH to RE-BIRTH. To diligently and carefully protect our children from wrong habit patterns. And why is it so important to do so? Why is it especially important to do so? It is especially important first of all, if they have inherited from us, strong tendencies or inclinations in any particular area, due to our sinful indulgence. And secondly, it’s especially important because, during this time, from the cradle to the cross, they are lawful prey of whom? Of the enemy. Remember that statement?
Let’s review that just briefly. R&H Oct 14, 1875. “Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, and the evil angels have access to these children; and some parents”, God forbid that it should be us, “are careless and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in this matter, by correcting and subduing their children, and then by bringing them to God and claiming his blessing upon them.” That is our work parents.
1 Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I BEG of you as” what? “as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” That’s the commission to the born-again Christian. But what about those who are not born-again? Can we paraphrase that? How are they helped? Listen “Beloved, I beg of you as” parents, help your children to “abstain from fleshly lusts which was against the soul.” That is our commission parents, during their youth, during their tender formative years, when Satan so frequently succeeds in tempting them into habitual self-indulgence, our precious children, must be protected. We must not be either indolent or ignorant, regarding what is going on. And we must carefully, by God’s enabling grace, protect them from being “caught in the cords”.
In my years of counseling and teaching and ministering to young people, though they aren’t extensive, they have been sufficient to bring me to the conviction that the habit pattern, the cords of sin, most frighteningly prevalent and powerful and potent to destroy the body, mind and spirit, is the habit of masturbation. Dear parents, please, for the sake of your children consider with me, carefully, the clear counsel we have in this matter, from the pen of inspiration. Ellen White does not at any time that I have discovered yet, use the word masturbation. But she uses several expressions that most clearly mean that, and refer to that practice.
Some of the synonyms that she uses are as follows: Moral pollution, secret vice, self-abuse, soul and body destroying vice, terrible sin, favorite bewitching sin, awful crime, secret habits, degrading vice, debasing habit. And just what she calls it is a revelation, isn’t it? How widespread is this habit amongst our children and youth.
I read from 5T 78 “I am filled with horror as the condition of families professing present truth is opened before me. The profligacy of youth and even children is almost incredible. Parents do not know that secret vice is destroying and defacing the image of God in their children. The parents are responsible; for they have not educated their children to love and obey God. They have not restrained them nor diligently taught them the way of the Lord.” Oh parents, we are responsible when we through our negligence, through our indolence, even through our ignorance, allow our children to become involved in secret vice, and other habit patterns, that bind them .
2T351 “This is not a solitary case.” Speaking to one who is involved in this habit as an adult. “Even the marriage relation was not sufficient to preserve this man from the corrupt habits of his youth. I wish I could be convinced that such cases at the one I have presented are rare, but I know they are frequent.” You see, children can be so terribly “caught in the cords” of masturbation, that not even the marriage relationship frees them from that bondage. And often time the marriage relationship is terribly perverted on account of their habit patterns that they bring to it.
There have been surveys that have been made regarding the prevalence of masturbation. And surveys indicate that in the world, 92% among males are either practicing or at least have practiced masturbation. 92%. 72% among females. There have also been some surveys made amongst us as a people, and the percentages are not significantly different. Brothers and sisters beware of the typical response at this point, EVERYONE’S DOING IT, it can’t be wrong, 92%, must be OK. Oh brothers and sisters, would Noah have made it into the ark with that philosophy? Would Lot made it out of Sodom with that philosophy? Will we make it into the kingdom with that philosophy?
I submit that secret vice, masturbation, is totally incompatible with Christianity. They are mutually exclusive. CG 445, 446 “Secret vice is the destroyer of high resolve, earnest endeavor, and strength of will to form a good religious character. All who have any true sense of what is embraced in being a Christian know that the followers of Christ are under obligation as His disciples to bring ALL their passions, their physical powers and mental faculties into perfect subordination to His will. Those who are controlled by their passions CANNOT be followers of Christ.” I don’t know how it can be stated more clearly. “They are too much devoted to the service of their master, the originator of every evil, to leave their corrupt habits and choose the service of Christ.”
We cannot serve two masters brothers and sisters. “No man can serve two masters” (Matt 6:24). Either we will serve Christ through submission of the will to the Spirit, or we will serve Satan through the submission of the will to the flesh. Rom 13:14 “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make” what? “MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH”, If we continue to habitually indulge the flesh, we cannot claim to have put on the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we have not put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not Christians.
CG 449,250 “No matter how high a person’s profession, those who are willing to be employed in gratifying the lust of the flesh cannot be Christians. As servants of Christ their employment and meditations and pleasure should consist in things more excellent.” I recognize that there are those who have a radically different opinion regarding masturbation. There are those who feel that masturbation is in no way mutually exclusive to a Christian experience. Masturbation and Christianity are mutually exclusive. There has been a marked change in the attitude towards secret vice or masturbation over the years. If you read in books regarding this subject, just about a century ago, in fact not even that long ago, it was generally viewed as evil. Generally viewed as evil. There were a few rare exceptions but it was recognized as an evil habit pattern, a sin. Then it, as the years went by, became more and more acceptable, in fact it has been regarded as normal and today it’s regarded even as desirable. In fact there are clinics and seminars offered to train one in this vice.
Oh brothers and sisters, the strangle hold the Devil has on the human race is so frightening. What is Gods estimation of this? CG 452 “He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck of humanity. This vice was shown me as an abomination in the sight of God....” Now note the phrase there. It was what? It “was SHOWN ME”. Brothers and sisters, what is that in reference to? That’s in reference to divine revelation. Now there are those who like to suggest that Ellen White was accurate and correct in many areas, but she was very wide of the mark in this one. ….
But I submit that if we come to that conclusion when she has said clearly that she “was shown” by God, that this is an “abomination”, we have to throw out everything else that she says that she was shown by God, and we have nothing left. Can a Christian cherish and cling to that which is an abomination to the Lord? However popular and accepted it might be? No. Emphatically no.
What is the origin of this habit pattern? 2T391 “In very many cases the parents are the real sinners. They have abused their marriage privileges, and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions. And as these have strengthened, the moral and intellectual faculties have become weak. The spiritual has been overborne by the brutish.” Listen “Children are born with the animal propensities largely developed, the parents’ own stamp of character having been given to them… Children born to these parents will almost invariably take naturally to the disgusting habits of secret vice… The sins of the parents will be visited upon their children because the parents have given them the stamp of their own lustful propensities.” “Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children” (Ex 20:5) Oh dear parents, God forgive us if we have visited these iniquities upon our children.
And if we are aware that we, through self-indulgence, have passed onto our children, through the law of heredity, these strong tendencies and inclinations, we are all the more obligated to do all we can by Gods power to protect them from becoming “holden with the cords of their iniquity”. The way that this habit pattern is typically developed is in infancy through the curious exploration of and handling of the genital organs.
I read from CG 441,442 “Even very small children, infants, being born with natural irritability of the sexual organs, find momentary relief in handling them, which only increases the irritation and leads to a repetition of the act, until a habit is established which increases with their growth.” Parents, I would encourage you, strongly encourage you, to discourage your children from handling their sexual organs. This can be done very carefully and very tactfully. It should not be done in a harsh way. Distraction is one of the best methods. Also it is important and helpful to keep your child clothed. And when your child is unclothed, to be in its presence. I submit that it is appropriate as well, even at a very young age, if necessary, to take even physical measures, lovingly to keep a child from getting into a habit of irritating itself through handling its genital organs.
I read from CG 457, 458 “Satan is controlling the minds of the young, and we must work resolutely and faithfully to save them. Very young children practice this vice, and it grows upon them and strengthens with their years, until every noble faculty of body and soul is being degraded. Many might have been saved if they had been carefully instructed in regard to the influence of this practice upon their health. They were ignorant of the fact that they were bringing much suffering upon themselves…..Mothers, you cannot be too careful in preventing your children from learning low habits.” “you cannot be too careful”. Encourage them not to handle themselves. And as soon as they are able to understand, explain to them, as fully as they are able to comprehend, why they must not get into such a habit.
With my children, I have simply told them that if they get into the habit of playing with themselves, this is the term that we use with them, it will lead to a very terrible habit that will hurt them in the future. And I have told them that daddy cannot explain why now just why that is true, but please know that daddy loves you and daddy knows what’s best. And co-operate with daddy and he’ll help you keep from getting into that habit, and I’ll tell you why it’s so important when you get a little older. Warn them just as soon as they’re capable. And it is vitally important that you do so before they get other input from their associates. Vitally important.
CG 460 “They [parents] let them [children] visit other young friends, form their own acquaintances, and even go from their parental watch care, some distance from home, where they are allowed to do very much as they please.” Listen. “Satan improves all such opportunities and takes charge of the minds of these children whom mothers ignorantly expose to his artful snares.” Brothers and sisters, we should never ignorantly expose our children to these snares. I submit that it is not at any time wise, to let our children be out of our watch care. But it is particularly dangerous if we have not done our very best to inform them and thereby protect them, from what they will invariably be exposed to.
2T392 “Those who have become fully established in this soul-and-body-destroying vice can seldom rest until their burden of secret evil is imparted to those with whom they associate. Curiosity is at once aroused, and the knowledge of vice is passed from youth to youth, from child to child, until there is scarcely one to be found ignorant of the practice of this degrading sin.” “scarcely one”. How important mothers and fathers, that we inform our children and warn them.
CG 460 sound advice, “Shield them, as faithful mothers should, from becoming contaminated by associating with every young companion. Keep them, as precious jewels, from the corrupting influence of this age. If you are situated so that their intercourse (interaction) with young associates cannot always be overruled, as you would wish to have it, then let them visit your children in your presence; and in NO case allow these associates to lodge in the same bed or even in the same room. It will be far easier to prevent an evil than to cure it afterward….” What did we say? Satan improves all such opportunities when we carelessly expose them to associates who are contaminated by this habit.
I can verify this by personal experience. With Stevie, I’ve told him as soon as he was able to understand, warned him about the habit pattern. We have been very careful about letting him be exposed to other children. But at one occasion when we were visiting a very dear friend, Stevie asked if he could stay with those friends children, to stay in the room with the little boy, and we consented to do so, a find little boy. About a year later, now this was just ONE time that we had done this. I asked Stevie when we were talking about this, I said, Stevie has anyone asked you, or suggested to you that you get involved in this habit? And he said yes, they have. And immediately I was VERY concerned and wondered where I had failed and slipped up. And I said When Stevie? And he said, you remember that one night when you let me sleep with that little boy, he tried to get me to play with myself, but I told him I couldn’t because my daddy had warned me not to.
Oh brothers and sisters, God forgive me for my carelessness, but I praise Him that He gave me wisdom, to warn my child before he got caught in a practice that could have been his eternal ruin.
2T 391 “Parents do not generally suspect that their children know anything about this vice.” Parents, for the sake of your children, I submit that it is vitally important for you to find out and to help them out of it, if indeed they are involved. CG 458 “If your children practice this vice, they may be in danger of resorting to falsehood to deceive you. But, mothers, you must not be easily quieted and cease your investigations. You should not let the matter rest until you are fully satisfied. The health and souls of those you love are in peril, which makes this matter of the greatest importance. Determined watchfulness and close inquiry, notwithstanding the attempts to evade and conceal, will generally reveal the true state of the case. Then should the mother faithfully present this subject to them in its true light, showing it degrading downward tendency. Try to convince them that indulgence in this sin will destroy self-respect and nobleness of character, will ruin health and morals, and its foul stain will blot from the soul true love for God and the beauty of holiness. The mother should pursue this matter until she has sufficient evidence that the practice is at an end.” CG 458.
Oh such vitally important counsel to follow, such vitally important counsel to follow. If we discover parents, that they have acquired the habit of masturbation, what should we do? CG 457, again, “If they should be so unfortunate as to learn wrong habits, not knowing all the evil results, they can be reformed by appealing to their reason and convincing them that such habits ruin the constitution and affect the mind. We should show them that whatever persuasions corrupt persons may use to quiet their awakened fears and lead them to still indulge this pernicious habit, whatever may be their pretense, they are their enemies and the devil’s agents.”
Warn your children that they will hear other stories from their associates, regarding than the one you’re telling them about the consequence of masturbation. Prepare them for that, but let them know that those are their enemies and the devils agents. The consequences of masturbation are absolutely devastating, we can’t take the time to go through this counsel, as I’d like, but they affect the body, the mind, and the spirit. EVERY DIMENSION OF THE HUMAN PERSON, is disadvantaged and negatively affected through this habit. The reason for that, I believe, is because masturbation involves the electrical system of the body. And that electrical system in turn affects every organ and every faculty of the human physical, and mental, and spiritual being.
Another negative consequence of masturbation, is that typically it is practiced while corrupt, sexually orientated fantasies are going on in the mind, and it is the most effective way of perverting the imagination, and children can be hopeless, helpless slaves to such a perverted imagination.
Another reason that it is so devastating in its influence, is because it not only affects the electrical system, the thought processes, the imagination, but it also affects the hormonal system as well. Medical research reports, alterations in at least 10 different body hormones are caused by masturbation. These in turn, these body hormones, affect nearly every tissue in the body. No wonder the consequences are so diversified, no wonder that habit can affect us in so many different ways.
CG 444 “If the practice is continued from the ages of 15 and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of 30 to 45, by numerous pains in the system and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous tumors. Some of nature’s fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature’s fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution, and DEATH is the result.”
Now there are those in the medical profession that I recognize that just SCOFF at that, and dismiss it as shear fantasy. But brothers and sisters, I submit that we have a higher authority than human science. And I believe with all of my heart that Ellen White speaks with the voice of a higher authority. And there are, I have been assured by those who are much more expertise in this area, there are medical studies that have been done that vindicate what she is saying, regarding the consequence of masturbation.
What are the mental and spiritual consequences, as well? 2T347 “The sensitive nerves of the brain have lost their healthy tone by morbid excitation to gratify an unnatural desire for sensual indulgence. The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind. In consideration of these facts, how important that ministers and people who profess godliness should stand forth clear and untainted from this soul-debasing vice.” “Soul-debasing vice.”
Reading from 2T470, we have a summary regarding the consequences. Mental, moral and physical, of masturbation. After briefly reviewing the experiences of some involved in this habit, she states the following, “I have mentioned these cases to illustrate the power of this soul-and-body-destroying vice. The entire mind is given up to low passion.” There’s your imagination, due to the sexual fantasies, involved with masturbation. “The moral and intellectual faculties are over-borne by the baser powers. The body is enervated, the brain weakened.” There’s your electrical system and its damaged condition. Reading on. “The material deposited there to nourish the system is SQUANDERED.” I would love to look at that from a physicians eyes and see what she means by that. “The drain upon the system is great. The fine nerves of the brain, being excited to unnatural action, become benumbed and in a measure paralyzed. The moral and intellectual powers are weakening, while the animal passions are strengthening and being more largely developed by exercise. The appetite for unhealthful food clamors for indulgence. When persons are addicted to the habit of self-abuse, it is impossible to arouse their moral sensibilities to appreciate eternal things or to delight in spiritual exercises. Impure thoughts seize and control the imagination and fascinate the mind, and next follows an almost uncontrollable desire for the performance of impure actions.” Oh what a list of consequences that is. But the problem is the longer that it is practiced, the less it is recognized as sin.
2T347 “Youth and children of both sexes engage in moral pollution, and practice this disgusting, soul-and-body-destroying vice. Many professed Christians are so BENUMBED by the same practice that their moral sensibilities cannot be aroused to understand that it is SIN, and that if continued its sure results will be utter shipwreck of body and mind.” There are some that acknowledge it wrong, but they have practiced it so long that they are utterly helpless to break free from its tyranny. Listen to this absolutely pathetic case.
CG 452 “[He] had practiced these habits so long he seemed to have lost the control of himself… This man had gone so far he seemed to be left of God. He would go into the woods and spend days and nights in fasting and prayer that he might overcome this great sin, and then would return to his old habits. GOD DID NOT HEAR HIS PRAYERS. He asked God TO DO FOR HIM what had BEEN IN HIS POWER TO DO FOR HIMSELF.” That’s why God didn’t answer his prayers. “He had vowed to God, time and again, and had as often broken his vows and given himself up to his own corrupt lust, until God had left him to work his own ruin. He has since died. He was a self-murdered. The purity of heaven will never be marred with his society.” “Holden in the cords” of his own iniquity. “Caught in the cords” why? Because of ignorance or negligent parents who got him well on the way, through heredity, and then promoted his hopeless, helpless, plummet to eternal ruin, by failing to protect him from self-indulgence. May God forbid that we should be such parents.
2T469 “I have been shown that persons of apparently good deportment, not taking unwarrantable liberties with the other sex, were guilty of practicing secret vice nearly every day of their lives. They have not refrained from this terrible sin even while most solemn meetings have been in session. They have listened to the most solemn, impressive discourses upon the judgment, which seemed to bring them before the tribunal of God, causing them to fear and quake, yet hardly an hour would elapse before they would be engaged in their favorite, bewitching sin, polluting their own bodies. They were such slaves to this awful crime that they seemed devoid of power to control their passions.” “Caught in the cords”. Oh parents, lets protect our children. Lets protect our children.
CG 456 “Do not deceive yourselves into the belief that, after all, this matter is placed before you in an exaggerated light. I have not colored the picture. I have stated facts which will bear the test of the judgment. Awake! Awake! I beseech you, before it shall be too late for wrongs to be righted, and you and your children perish in the general ruin. Take hold of the solemn work, and bring to your aid every ray of light you can gather that has shone upon your pathway, and that you have not cherished; and , together with the aid of the light now shining, commence an investigation of your life and character as if you were before the tribunal of God. UNTIL PARENTS AROUSE, THERE IS NO HOPE FOR THEIR CHILDREN.” Parents, Awake, accept the principles of Gods word, apply them. In part two we will study HOW we can help our children out of this habit, if indeed they have been “caught in the cords”. Let us pray.
Father God, we ask that You would open our eyes and give us wisdom to protect our children from being caught in the cords of sin. Forgive us wherein we have been negligent in the past and help us to redeem the time through the power of Your Spirit, and by obedience to Your Word. We ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.